Southern Colorado Skies / February 4-10, 2018

Consider a planetarium program to help you plan your observations. There are many commercial products available; an excellent program (STELLARIUM) is available free at http://www.stellarium.org/.

THIS WEEK

The Moon makes a passage this week just above Jupiter and Mars, through the constellations Libra and Scorpius as shown in the following graphic. Look to the southeast well before dawn on Wednesday through Friday.

Early Sunday morning (February 11th), The crescent Moon appears just above Saturn as shown in the following graphic. Jupiter will be to the upper right (not shown in the graphic).

Did you see the total lunar eclipse last Wednesday? There is an extensive write-up, as well as several photos, on the SCAS Pueblo Facebook site. Here are a few images that I took, showing the progression of the eclipse across the face of the Moon.


 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday (February 6)

Last-quarter Moon at 8:55 a.m. MST.

Wednesday (February 7)

The Moon shines to the upper right (west) of Jupiter, as shown in the above graphic.

Thursday (February 8) and Friday (February 9)

The Moon shines above Mars and Antares, as shown in the above graphic.

DAYLIGHT

PLANETS

Mercury and Venus (both in Capricornus)

Both planets are lost in the glare of the Sun this week.

Mars (in Scorpius) and Jupiter (in Libra)

Both planets rise after midnight and are well up in the southern sky by early dawn. Look for Mars near the “head” of Scorpius, to the lower left (east) of much brighter Jupiter.

Don’t mistake reddish Mars for reddish Antares a little further down. Antares (translates as “anti Ares” or Mars’ opposite, because they look similar) is the alpha star in the constellation Scorpius.

Saturn (in Sagittarius)

Saturn offers a decent low in the dawn light, well below and to the left (east) of Mars.

Uranus (in Pisces)

High in the southwest at nightfall.

Neptune (in Aquarius)

Very low in the west-southwest at nightfall.

BRIGHT IRIDIUM FLARES

The following data are based on my location in Pueblo West, Colorado. If you live well outside this area, you should consider checking this information for your location in order to be assured of accurate times, elevations, etc. If you’re unfamiliar with Iridium flares, check out my short article at: http://scaspueblo.com/blog/2017/02/25/iridium-flares/.

Thursday (February 8) 7:07:12 p.m. / Magnitude -2.8 / SSE / Elevation 40 degrees

Friday (February 9) 7:01:08 p.m. / Magnitude -2.9 / SSE / Elevation 41 degrees

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (ISS)

These are too numerous to list here! If you’re seriously interested, load the ISS DETECTOR app on your smart phone or tablet.

Carpe noctem

Dave Furry

Pueblo West, Colorado